By Samantha Martin
Though it may sound surprising, Twitter is not just for wasting time. It’s a great social media tool filled with opportunities to network and learn. Whether you have ten followers or a thousand, here are four ways that writers can use Twitter.
Even if you’ve read an agent’s bio as well as checked out their previous projects, it can be hard to know if your writing will be a good fit for them. #MSWL, which stands for Manuscript Wish List, is a way for agents to let writers know exactly what they’re looking for. To see all of the latest MSWL tweets, simply go to Twitter and enter #MSWL in the search bar. If you find a tweet that fits your manuscript, this is a great thing to mention in your query. This will let the agent know that you’ve done your research, and give you a chance to explain why your project will be a good fit for them.
Find Holloway Literary agents on MSWL:
- Nikki Terpilowski: http://mswishlist.com/agent/AWomanReading
- Rachel Beck’s: http://mswishlist.com/agent/Rachel_C_Beck
If you’re in the writing community on Twitter, chances are you know about #Pitmad and other Twitter pitch events. During a twitter pitch, writers use the 280 characters that Twitter allows to describe their book in just a few sentences. If they’re interested, agents will “like” the tweet. This means that they could be interested in your project! Take a breath to polish your query, and then submit it to them, making note of their interest in your tweet. When tweeting, it’s important to make sure you include the hashtag of the pitch in question, like #DVPit, #PitDark, etc. You can also tag the genre of your writing—from #SFF (SciFi and Fantasy) to #YA (Young Adult). If you’re not sure which hashtag to use for your genre, do a bit of research into the pitch! It should be easy to find. Pitch events are great not just because you may pique an agent’s interest, but because you can support your fellow writers with retweets and replies as well.
Hashtags are a great way to find exactly what you’re looking for on Twitter. Here are some of the best hashtags for writers:
#amwriting: Writers use this tag to let others know what they’re working on! Browsing this hashtag is a great way to network and make writer friends.
#QueryTip and #TenQueries: These hashtags are usually used by agents. Check out #QueryTip for dos and don’ts of querying, and for what specific agents would like to see in their queries. #TenQueries is fun to browse as well—occasionally, agents will share some brief details about the queries they are reviewing. This is a great way to pick up tips, and you may just see your own query in the mix.
#AskAgent: Sometimes, agents will host Q&A sessions where writers can submit their questions using #AskAgent. If you have a question about writing or agenting, watch for these events! Browsing these questions and answers is a great way to improve your query and writing.
Connecting with Other Authors
Social media is a great way to meet friends and collaborators. Browsing the hashtags I mentioned above can be a great way to find like-minded writers to connect with. You can also use hashtags in your own tweets if you’re searching for a #CritiquePartner or #BetaReader. Writing can be frustrating at times, so hopping on Twitter to encourage a writer who seems down can be a great way to engage in the community. Building a network of friends and collaborators on Twitter can only help you when you finally get that big break.
Social media can be a great way to learn, make friends and encourage others. If you’re looking for advice, or just a break from writing, Twitter is a great place to go. Be sure to follow @HollowayLit for agency news, writing advice and more!
Samantha Martin is an intern at Holloway Literary. Follow Samantha on Twitter @Am_I_Write.